Well-functioning immune system helps maintain healthy dairy cows
Dairy cows are continually faced with stressful events throughout the lactation cycle that can adversely affect their immune system, creating opportunities for infection and illness.
Many events, like calving or weather, produce visibly noticeable signs of stress; however, others, such as cow comfort, pregnancy and lactation, are more subtle. Both challenge the cow’s immune system and both can result in cows becoming more susceptible to disease, resulting in significant economic costs to the dairy operation.
OmniGen-AF®, from Phibro Animal Health Corporation, is a nutritional supplement that can help support a cow’s natural immune function. A well-functioning immune system is vital to help maintain overall cow health and can help lower somatic cell counts, and may decrease the incidence of mastitis and metritis, which allows for better milk production and milk quality.
South Dakota dairy places priority on good immune function
MoDak Dairy in Goodwin, S.D., started adding OmniGen-AF to its rations several years ago as herd size began to increase. Changes in feed sources and accompanying feed quality issues had begun to negatively affect dairy cow health and reduce dry matter intake. “If there’s a health issue, we want to stay ahead of it,” explains Greg Moes, co-owner of the 2,000-cow dairy.
Moes says OmniGen-AF, in conjunction with other management practices, has helped to increase herd health, resulting in reduced health disorders and increased milk production by 10 to 15 pounds of milk per cow, per day. It’s now fed year-round to all cow groups.
“The more consistent you can keep an animal with intakes, the more you can have higher-producing animals,” he says. “OmniGen-AF provides consistent nutrition, and we’ve never even discussed leaving it out.”
He also credits the technical expertise and service provided by his Phibro Animal Health Corporation Dairy Technical Specialist, Jonathan Ydstie. “He’s been in the dairy business a long time,” Moes says. “We really value the support Jonathan provides, including his knowledge and testing of our feed, helping us understand how to properly incorporate OmniGen-AF into cow diets, and the blood sampling he conducts to monitor herd health.”